April 12, 2011

Have The Nails From Jesus’ Crucifixion Really Been Found?

Twenty years ago, two ancient nails were discovered in a Jerusalem archaeological excavation and are believed to have been used to crucify Jesus, says filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici in his latest film, "The Nails of the Cross."

"What we are bringing to the world is the best archaeological argument ever made that two of the nails from the crucifixion of Jesus have been found," he told Reuters. "Do I know 100% yes, these are them? I don't."

According to the film, a number of ossuaries were found in a tomb belonging to the Caiaphas family. Caiaphas was the Jewish high priest who sent Jesus to his death by turning him over to the Romans.

At the time of discovery, the nails were not photographed, and there is no record of what was done with them, reports Bloomberg. Jacobovici later tracked the nails to a Tel Aviv University lab, where they remain.

In a telephone interview, Bloomberg reports that Jacobovici says, "I think we have a compelling case to say: these [the nails] are them."

"If you look at the whole story, historical, textual, archaeological, they all seem to point at these two nails being involved in a crucifixion," says the director.

"And since Caiaphas is only associated with Jesus's crucifixion, you put two and two together and they seem to imply that these are the nails."

However, the Israel Antiquities Authority has responded that there is no scientific proof for Jacobovici's claims.

The agency oversaw the excavation of the Caiaphas Tomb, and has casted doubt about the suggestion that the grave was definitely the burial place of the high priest. It also went on to say that nails are commonly found in tombs.

"There is no doubt that the talented director Simcha Jacobovici created an interesting film with a real archaeological find at its center," says a spokesman. "But the interpretation presented in it has no basis in archaeological findings or research."

Jacobovici's film, "The Nails of the Cross" will be aired on the History Channel in the United States on April 20 and in Israel on Channel 1 on May 15, as part of a series called "Secrets of Christianity."


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